Busi­ness­man will seek bail to detox

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Tara Shaskey

A prom­i­nent Taranaki busi­ness­man in cus­tody on se­ri­ous drug charges is seek­ing to be bailed to a treat­ment cen­tre to detox.

Lauch­lan MacMil­lan, owner of the re­gion’s branch of the build­ing com­pany Fowler Homes, has been in prison since his ar­rest on Oc­to­ber 22, when po­lice ex­e­cuted a se­ries of busts tar­get­ing the sale of class A drug metham­phetamine.

The 42-year-old ap­plied for bail a few days into his cus­tody but it was de­clined.

MacMil­lan faces seven charges of sup­ply­ing meth, three of pos­sess­ing the drug, one of driv­ing at a dan­ger­ous speed and a new charge of con­spir­acy to deal meth. He has yet to plead.

Yes­ter­day, he reap­peared via au­dio vis­ual link in the New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Court where his lawyer, An­drew Lau­ren­son, with­drew a bail ap­pli­ca­tion for elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing and said he would be ap­ply­ing to have his client re­leased to a treat­ment cen­tre based in Auck­land. Lau­ren­son sought a re­mand for two weeks to al­low for dis­cus­sion with po­lice about suit­able bail con­di­tions, which could po­ten­tially in­clude not be­ing able to leave the fa­cil­ity.

Judge David Cameron said it was in MacMil­lan’s and the com­mu­nity’s best in­ter­est for him to at­tend the res­i­den­tial pro­gramme to ad­dress his drug is­sues. He re­manded the mat­ter un­til Novem­ber 22 when the bail ap­pli­ca­tion would be ad­dressed. If granted, MacMil­lan would leave prison for the fa­cil­ity that same day.

MacMil­lan’s jour­ney to cus­tody be­gan on Labour Day af­ter the re­gion’s or­gan­ised crime group swooped on mul­ti­ple ad­dresses, seiz­ing drugs, cash and ve­hi­cles.

Po­lice cor­doned off the Fowler Homes Taranaki of­fices, at the in­ter­sec­tion of State High­way 3 and Cor­bett Rd, Bell Block, and seized his lux­ury sports car, a black 2017 Dodge Charger SRT Hell­cat. In Septem­ber, MacMil­lan ap­peared in court for al­legedly driv­ing at a dan­ger­ous speed along a Hawke’s Bay road on March 10, 2018. Kevin Ron­ald Bishell, 37, of Waitara, has also been charged in con­nec­tion with the driv­ing in­ci­dent.

It is al­leged Bishell en­cour­aged MacMil­lan to drive at speed.

In an un­re­lated mat­ter, Bishell has also been ac­cused of killing a Taranaki teenager in a car crash in Au­gust.

He was driv­ing a Fowler Homes Taranaki ve­hi­cle at the time.

Lauch­lan MacMil­lan

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